Treatment for latent TB to be rolled out in April

Treatment for the 70 people tested positive for latent Tuberculosis is expected to be rolled out next month by the Health department and World Health Organization.

The treatment is to prevent those who have already got the bacteria in their system which is inactive from further developing into tuberculosis.

622 people have been screened where 70 tested positive for latent TB while two cases have been confirmed for tuberculosis.

Principal Health Officer Grizelda Mokoia said the 70 will be contacted by the Health department to receive treatment.

“The treatment in April is focusing on the seventy cases who have already tested positive for mantoux skin test and the programme is they take one tablet for a week for twelve weeks as opposed to the normal treatment programme that other people are undergoing at the moment who have to undertake medications for up to six to nine months. So we had put in a request  that we can do the twelve weeks, to ensure that everybody are compliant and that they do take the medication.” said Mokoia

People who have not been screened yet are being encouraged to do so.

Awareness on TB is being carried out by health officials throughout this week.

The only sign of TB infection is a positive reaction to the tuberculin skin test or TB blood test. Persons with latent TB infection are not infectious and cannot spread TB infection to others. Overall, without treatment, about 5 to 10% of infected persons will develop TB disease at some time in their lives.

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